Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska Kearney men’s basketball team has been picked fourth in the MIAA preseason coaches’ poll. The poll was released today in conjunction with “Virtual Media Day.” Head coaches vote on the makeup of the poll and cannot vote for their own team. UNK, which began official practice this past Sunday, went 20-10 (12-7) in 2016-17, finishing in third in the MIAA standings and reaching the conference tournament semifinals. The Lopers return virtually its entire roster from that squad, led by four returning All-MIAA players in Ty Danielson (York), Isaiah McKay (Brooklyn Park, Minn.), Trey Lansman (Harlan, Ia.) and Yashua Trent (Chicago).
Lansman also is a 2018 preseason All-American. Besides 10 veterans, head coach Kevin Lofton has two newcomers this winter in freshmen posts in Weston Baker Magrath (Marshall, Minn.) and Austin Luger (Alliance). In the preseason poll, the Lopers tallied 124 points to trail Washburn (144; one first place). UNK beat the Ichabods three times last season, including in the MIAA Tourney quarterfinals in Kansas City. WU also returns most of its roster and will be led by first-year head coach Brett Ballard. Defending national champion NW Missouri State is once again the overwhelming favorite (169; 13 first place) with Central Missouri 145) second. Northwest gets a crack at Duke in an exhibition game on Friday, Oct. 27th. For the first time in four years, the ‘Cats will play in Kearney (Thurs./Jan. 18th). UNK begins its 2017-18 with back-to-back games against rival Wayne State (home on Fri./Nov. 10th and away on Sun./Nov. 12th).